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Upcoming Birthday - Repeat Pattern

Dads_Wife's picture

As I predicted, FSD13 turning 14 has decided to come back around and talk to DH. She did this six weeks before Christmas and now six weeks before her birthday. See a pattern anyone?

Anyway, at the end of the month, I am driving down to where FSD resides for FSIL baby shower. FDH has decided to come to 'celebrate' FSD soon to be birthday (its about a week after the visit). No plans have been set in stone. I will be driving my vehicle because it is better for travels than a truck. FSD still doesn't address my existance, but told FD that they should go go-carting while he's down there, just him and her (I actually think its not a bad idea). The bad thing - FDH said, that sounds great but I won't have a car so we need to play it by ear. FSD said, 'take Dads_Wife's car and we can go' to which FDH responded with, 'yeah yeah yeah - we aren't getting into this now' - see I was in the room when this conversation was happening via the phone and I am VERY torn inside so I'm going to try to lay this out as easy as possible. 

Where we are going I have many friends and would like access to my vehicle so I can do what I want within reason. Part of me thinks I should sacrifice and let FDH use my car to take her somewhere so he has the opportunity to try and better their relationship but the other part of me is like, why should that little troll dictate what items of mine will be used for when she won't even acknowledge my existance. I know FDH will not ask for my vehicle and does not entertain what FSD said, as he knows how things are and I would have to offer it to him for him to consider borrowing it.

I know we all end up in this position at times - we want to help our FDH but we also have much resentment for the way steps have treated us and continue to treat us. I think its hard because she wants to use my car to get what she wants but doesn't want me around at all, basically saying they go gocarting and then meet FMIL and FFIL for dinner - no mention of Dads-Wife going at all (also torn because, in all honesty, I don't think I would want to go, but I also don't want her to view us as not a unit).


Any advice STalkers?


tog redux's picture

I think it's fine for him to go go-carting with her alone, and I'd probably offer the car (though he could use Lyft or Uber too, if you have other plans); however, IMO, if there's a dinner with in-laws, you should be invited, period. 


Dads_Wife's picture

I agree about the dinner thing. So far I haven't been invited but I also haven't been not invited. Its like this grey area that is giving me anxiety (which is dumb - I'm sure FDH would say something like, yeah well Dads_wife is coming too). I guess we will see when we get there? I really just need to get used to the unknown.

Dads_Wife's picture

That is what everyone keeps saying. The only good thing is FDH doesn't cave to FSD. He is not a disney dad and doesn't let her treat me like garbage, EVER. And with the dinner thing, I'm almost positive that he would say if FMIL and FFIl are going, so is Dads_Wife - but I guess there is always room for a surprise ::sigh::

tog redux's picture

I would preempt it by letting him know you expect to be invited to dinner.

Get all your cards on the table BEFORE you get married.  Just say, "If there's a dinner with FMIL and FFIL, I'm invited, right?"


Dads_Wife's picture

When this conversation came up he did say, "It was stupid if FSD to say, like how does she expect you to get to dinner if you don't have your car?" Which, to me, read as regardless of if FSD wants me there, he expects me there. I don't really have a lot of issues with him trying to appease her. He'll do individual things with her, but only like one activity (which is the reason she went NC basically). She didn't like having a third party around and when she would want to do something and he would said, "i have to check with Dads_wife to see what shes doing and then we'll decide" she would throw a fit. He hasn't given in and shes been on and off NC for a year. It actually seems like he has gotten more used to the NC and seems less affected by it than he did in the beginning.

Aunt Agatha's picture

of a greedy, rude SD.  Daddykins and the demon want to go do something alone?  

Great!  But if they don’t have a car, it’s Uber or Lyft.  I’ve found service just about everywhere I’ve travelled, and it’s not expensive.

Start giving into stupidity now, and she will try to run your life.

HappyLittleTree's picture

People that dont exist cant have items that exist. It seems likt this would be the perfect set up to reward this kind of pattern of behavior.

Harry's picture

He can rent a car there for a day or two.  Or take an Uber.  Don’t play into FSD game.  They will be using your car and you will be stuck with no car.   Your car you used it.  

Dads_Wife's picture

I promise to let you guys know what happens. Today I woke up and felt like I will offer the car. Tomorrow I may wake up with a 'f that' feeling. I won't decide on anything until the day of. I did think about offering it and then 'accidentally' leaving the keys in my purse that will be with me wherever I go - but I thought that was just too much and too passive aggressive (also unnecessary). I don't think princess can talk daddee into much, she hasn't been able to since this mess all started. I'm sure my feelings will flip and flop daily on this but I really shouldn't spend any more energy on it (even though I will because, head, meet wall ::eyeroll::) maybe one day I can disengage from these thoughts and free up this energy for actual productive things.

Healyourslf's picture

'take Dads_Wife's car and we can go'

Assumptious isn't she? Nope do not get access to anything, particularly if I own the title.  DH is a big boy and can figure out how to entertain SD without crossing your boundaries. Transportation is not the issue here. 

I know the feeling of "wanting to be the bigger person and supporting opportunities for DH to foster relationship with SD."  I did this for 4 years and in retrospect my efforts at "kindness, fairness and tolerance" didn't do a damn thing except to confirm to SD that she could continue to pull the strings. Don't start giving inches because before you know it, it'll be yards.

If any decision causes you to vacillate and stress, then some part of you already KNOWS it is not solidly grounded.  As posters have suggested above, put the ball in DH's court - he can get an Uber or rent a car.  Meanwhile, go visit friends and enjoy the positivity they bring.  Trust that DH has your back (he's shown that he does) - let him figure out how to deal with the transport.  What DH really has to drive home is the idea "you and he are to be respected as a couple and that your relationship is priority over any of SD's bullshit."  

Dads_Wife's picture

I really appreciate this response. Its hard being an adult and wanting to try to at least not make things worse, but I feel like any choice I make could make things worse, either her behavior or the situation for FDH. It puts us SMs in a terrible position but I suppose this is pretty much a no brainer. I'll plan my weekend and have my fun - I can't worry about what he's doing or what they are doing.

tog redux's picture

If DH has my back, as you say your FDH does, then I would totally let him use the car.  I personally think it's petty to not let HIM use the car because his daughter is a jerk. You and he are driving there together, there is only one car, so you have to share it.  Saying he can't use it because you don't like his daughter is childish, IMO, especially if it means he Ubers off while your car is sitting there unused. For me, DH and I are a team.  I don't hold against him that his kid is a jerk.

Now, if he didn't have my back, it would be different story.

Dads_Wife's picture

I mostly feel this way too. I guess the one part that doesn't have me feeling this way is that FSD already suggested they 'just take my car' - that is really the part that I am struggling with. Her whole life she has tried to dictate what the adults will do with their time, their things, ect and most of the adults just ignore her and do what they want anyway, a fit ensues and here we are - a spoiled child who locks herself in her bedroom every time she doesn't get her way. I think that if she hadn't told FDH what THEY were going to do with my things, without even asking me, I would be very inclined to offer it. I know FDH will not ask for it, especially after her comment, and I think I would have to offer it two or three times for him to actually take it (and he would still text me the entire time they were away asking if I was okay and this was fine). 

I don't know. I guess I just don't like anyone telling me what to do with my things. If she had asked, would it be okay, I would be singing a different tune, because that means she acknowledged I a. exsist and b. have say and feelings in all things.

tog redux's picture

She's a kid. She's making a suggestion that may seem selfish, and probably is, but it's logical, too - there is only one car.  Now, if DH didn't work and you were the only one paying for the car, etc, then it would be different. But in this case, I assume there is only one car because you two drove that one car to where you are visiting, right?

I guess I view this from the vantage point of DH and I being married and both of our cars are in both of our names, so maybe I have a different viewpoint for that reason.   But even so, I think if you need the car, DH Ubers - if not, just let him use it.  Again, just because his daughter is a selfish brat, he shouldn't be punished.

Healyourslf's picture

If SD would have said to DH, "do you think it would be alright with SM if we used her car to go go-carting?"  That infers she's considerate of your presence, property and partnership. Everything is a tool for her personal satisfaction including your vehicle.  That's an entitled point of view.  Don't feed it.  This has nothing to do with you supporting DH.  Ubers are cheap and so are daily car rentals. 

Like I said, he'll figure out the transport without quashing your plans to visit friends (then you're gonna feel resentful).  It will be better for your mental health to be hanging with friends instead of being alone while they have bonding time.  This girl has clearly been in "attack" mode towards you...your stress reponse is primal - "fight or flight" and that's why you're vacillating.  I get has nothing to do with wanting to support DH.  Don't confuse fear of protecting your boundaries with fear of not supporting DH.

tog redux's picture

I totally disagree with you. If I told DH, "nope, you can't take the car, just because SD asked you if you could," that kind of thinking would eventually lead to the breakdown of my marriage, rightfully.

It would be DH asking for the car.  If SD was the one DRIVING the car, I would agree, but it's DH who would ask for and drive the car. Just because SD suggested a logical thing (why can't you use the car you drove here in?), DH is the one doing it.

I don't know - I don't see that as boundary setting, I see it as punishing SD because you don't like her.  But also punishing DH in the process, which will in fact, not help your relationship.

Dads_Wife's picture

Here is the thing though, I know FDH WILL NOT ask for it. I know I will have to offer it. Does it still make it wrong to not offer if he doesn't ask?

Winterglow's picture

What I want to know is are you going to continue to agonize over this if your dh calmly sorts out his own arrangements without needing your car at all. *smile* Maybe he objected to his daughter's assumption too.

He might just surprise you ... 

futurobrillante99's picture

It sounds like this trip had a purpose: You going to SIL's baby shower and seeing your friends. I assume your husband decided to tag along to see family. The primary purpose of this trip was never so DH could visit SD. Now, SD has decided she wants to pay attention to her dad and dictate the terms.

If your DH has average intelligence and is capable of problem solving, trust the man to figure this out for himself.

The honest to god truth is that if you do not offer your car to your DH, insisting 3 times for him to take it and he doesn't make the effort to find another solution to how to get to SD, it is NOT your fault and doesn't make you a bad person.

However, SD commandeering your DH and dictating his visit and the use of your car could be highly inconvenient for you and interfere with the primary purpose of this trip.

Please stop overthinking and trying to fix everything for everyone, and trying to protect your reputation as a good and decent person/wife. You will never improve SD's opinion of you, and trying to solve problems for your DH is called over functioning and demonstrates a lack of faith in his ability to figure this out for himself.

The most I would do if he brings it up, would be to offer the CAR once, but let him know when you need it back. If he declines, don't offer it again.

Healyourslf's picture

I can see where you're coming from, but I'm prone to sympathize with this "between a rock and hard place" statement...

"I think its hard because she wants to use my car to get what she wants but doesn't want me around at all, basically saying they go gocarting and then meet FMIL and FFIL for dinner - no mention of Dads-Wife going at all (also torn because, in all honesty, I don't think I would want to go, but I also don't want her to view us as not a unit).

I also think that DH must sense her feelings and he's gentleman enough not to ask - he did not commit an answer to SD about the vehicle. They are in tune and considerate of each other's feelings. She's concerned that she not be perceived as 'having it out for SD."  They haven't put the cards on the table and there's eggshells afoot.  

It may have been a whimsy, non-thinking statement from SD about the car, but from previous posts this kid seems pretty self-absorbed, assumptously entitled and extremely hateful of SM. It's no wonder SM is putting the brakes on. If things were "normal," the scenario would probably go like this..."I'll drop you off at the go cart place, go see some pals while you guys have fun, pick you up when you're done then we'll meet up with FMIL and FFIL for dinner."  She's already sensing/feeling that there's something amiss and ostracization at play. Thinking she's caught between "supporting DH," and preserving her self-respect by not giving SD the means to ostracize her via her own vehicle.

Test-driving. Caution.

Dads_Wife's picture

I appreciate this too. Its sad because I'm at the point where when FSD calls my only thoughts are, what does she want or what s*** is she going to start now? I know people will say that I'm paranoid but in the three years of knowing her, we have never had an interaction that did not end in her throwing some type of fit. I need to work on my trust in FDH because, in this whole mess, he has never once faultered. I don't know why I get so flighty about it. I guess I just don't love drama or something. Plus there is that side of me that just keeps thinking, if she tried to get to know me we all could have fun, but as everyone pointed out, this will likely NEVER be the case and she may always have some animosity/jealousy toward me.

Healyourslf's picture

So many of us have been there.  They trigger this crazy trauma response and it's natural to feel self-protective - this  bleeds over into one's possessions.  It took me a while to be fully honest with DH because I didn't want to hurt his feelings AND I didn't want him to think I had it out for SD or that I was making him "choose" between his daughter and me.  This is crazy-making because what keeps your sanity in tact (which is to oblige your gut feeling) goes against the grain of what is perceived to be loving, supportive action.  (I've been working on my codependent, enabler behavior for years.)  The glue that keeps HD and I solid is honest communication - which sometimes blows our cognitive dissonance to shreds because truth can be a difficult acceptance. Truth and trust are vital to your relationship - seems like you have it. You are both aware of SD's dysfunctional behavior and both of you wish it wasn't so.  The choice is YOURS and DH's to make...not SD's. 

Dads_Wife's picture

Reading everyone's replies has been cathartic and eye opening. I am going to take all of this information and let it marinate for awhile and go from there. Its not a healthy way to live and I let it bother me more than FDH, which is absolutely silly and asinine. I really look forward to making some changes within myself so I don't feel this way any longer. I know it'll take work and time but I am optimistic.

Winterglow's picture

If you have plans, people to see, places to go then do not sacrifice that. This is a break for you too, so enjoy it seeing the friends you don't usually get to see. There are many other ways of getting from A to B without your car and I'm sure your dh can cope with that. If you have nothing else to do, by all means, offer your car to DH.